About This Artwork

Jacob Jordaens
Flemish, 1593-1678

The Temptation of the Magdalene, c. 1616/17

Oil on panel
49 11/16 x 38 1/4 in. (126.2 x 96.8 cm)

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection; anonymous gift in honor of Kate and Morris Kaplan, 1991.111

Here an angel supports Saint Mary Magdalene as she ponders whether or not to resist the wordly temptations of gold and jewels offered by an aged procuress. In this early work, Jacob Jordaens had already developed his own rich version of Caraveggesque realism as practiced in Antwerp shortly after 1610 by his older contemporaries Peter Paul Rubens and Abraham Janssens.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Brussels, Jacob Jordaens, 1928, no. 34.

Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, Jacob Jordaens 1593-1678, 1968, no. 7.

Publication History

Michael Jaffé, "The Robust Virtuosity of Jordaens," Apollo 88 (1968), p. 373, fig. 13.

R.-A. d'Hulst, exh. review of National Gallery of Canada, Jacob Jordaens 1593-1678 cat. by Michael Jaffé in Art Bulletin 51 (1969) p. 381.

John Rowlands, "Jordaens at Ottawa," Pantheon 27 (1969) p. 316.

Julian S. Held, "Jordaens at Ottawa," Burlington Magazine 111 (1969), p. 271.

"Conseils aux acheteurs," Connaissance des arts no. 203 (1969) p. 89, fig. 6.

Art Institute of Chicago, Annual Report 1990–91, Chicago, 1991, p. 19, fig. 2.

Rüdiger Klessmann, “Johann Liss’s ‘Temptation of the Magdalene',” Burlington Magazine138 (1996), p. 187. fig. 49.

Ownership History

Private collection, Brussels, 1928 [see Brussels 1928, no. 34]. Édouard Napoléon César Edmond Mortier, duc de Trévise (died 1946), Paris [according to Jaffé in Ottawa 1968; it was not part of his sale in Paris, May 19, 1938]. Sold, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, March 12, 1951, no. 57. Morris I. Kaplan (died 1966), Chicago; offered for sale, Sotheby's , London, June 12, 1968, no. 56, bought in; heirs of Morris I. Kaplan (on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago since 1969); sold to the Art Institute, 1991.

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